Year : 2016  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 60-67

Sexual behavior and risk factors for HIV infection among young people aged 15-24 years in North-Central Nigeria

1 Department of Family Medicine; AIDS Prevention Initiative Nigeria, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
2 AIDS Prevention Initiative Nigeria, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
3 Hope Support Group, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
4 Halt AIDS Group, Jos, Nigeria
5 Department of Medicine, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Patricia Aladi Agaba
Department of Family Medicine, University of Jos, Jos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2276-7096.192212

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Background: Young people continue to account for the majority of new HIV infections in Sub-Saharan Africa, yet a few studies focus on this group. We assessed sexual behavior, determined HIV prevalence infection, and explored risk factors for infection among young persons in Jos, Nigeria. Methodology: This cross-sectional survey involved young people aged 15-24 years in Plateau State, Nigeria. Sociodemographic and sexual history was obtained. HIV counseling and testing was provided in accordance with national guidelines. Logistic regression was used to assess independent risk factors for HIV infection. Results: Out of 4302 participants, 2032 (47.7%) were females, with a mean age of 19 ± 2 years, with males being older than females (P < 0.001). The mean age at sexual debut was 17 ± 2 years for females and 16 ± 3 years for males (P = 0.03). Three hundred and twelve (14%) males and 132 (6.5%) females had multiple sexual partners (P < 0.001). Majority (74.0%) had unprotected sex at their most recent sexual encounter. Seventy-eight (1.8%) participants were HIV-positive, out of which 75 were females (96.1%). Risk factors for HIV infection were female sex (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 53.47, confidence interval [CI]: 12.94-220.88), older age group (aOR: 5.37, CI: 2.68-10.77), residence in an urban area (aOR: 2.40, CI: 1.31-4.41), multiple sexual partners (aOR: 2.38, CI: 1.24-4.54), and being in a polygamous marriage (aOR: 3.31, CI: 1.17-9.32). Conclusion: HIV prevention efforts in Nigeria need to focus on girls in the late adolescence who reside in urban areas and have multiple sexual partners, either by choice or in marriage setting, and equip them with skills to negotiate safe sex with their partners.

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